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Workers Day of Mourning Act, 2016, S.O. 2016, c. 14 - Bill 180

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This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 180 and does not form part of the law.  Bill 180 has been enacted as Chapter 14 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2016.

The Bill proclaims April 28 in each year as a Workers Day of Mourning. The Bill requires that all Canadian and Ontario flags outside the Legislative Building, Government of Ontario buildings and other buildings such as city and town halls, schools, universities, colleges and hospitals be flown at half-mast on that day.



Chapter 14

An Act to proclaim a Workers Day of Mourning

Assented to June 9, 2016


Approximately 1,000 Canadian workers are killed on the job each year, while hundreds of thousands more are injured or diseased. It is estimated that over 90 per cent of workplace deaths are preventable. Raised awareness is necessary. But because risk remains an inherent part of many jobs, all workers, especially young workers, need to be aware of workplace dangers they could face.

It is important to designate a day of mourning to remember workers who have been killed, injured or suffered disease as a result of work-related incidents, and to honour their families.

A day of mourning also serves to protect the living by strengthening our commitment to health and safety in all workplaces in Ontario, helping to prevent additional deaths, injuries and diseases.

In 1988, the Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution recognizing April 28 as a day of mourning for workers. In 1991, the Parliament of Canada passed the Workers Mourning Day Act (Canada). Today, a workers day of mourning is recognized in more than 100 countries around the world. However, not enough is being done within the “MUSH sector” (municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals) to recognize this day. It is appropriate that the Province of Ontario build on the provincial resolution and on the federal Act by recognizing in provincial law a workers day of mourning and requiring the lowering of flags to half-mast.

Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Workers Day of Mourning

1. April 28 in each year is proclaimed as Workers Day of Mourning.

Flags at half-mast

2. All Canadian and Ontario flags flown outside the following shall be flown at half-mast on April 28 in each year:

1. The Legislative Building.

2. Government of Ontario buildings.

3. Courthouses.

4. Buildings occupied by:

i. A Crown agency.

ii. A municipality within the meaning of the Municipal Act, 2001, including city and town halls.

iii. A local board, as defined in subsection 1 (1) of the Municipal Act, 2001.

iv. A board, as defined in subsection 1 (1) of the Education Act.

v. A school or private school, as defined in subsection 1 (1) of the Education Act.

vi. A university, college of applied arts and technology or other post-secondary institution in Ontario.

vii. A hospital within the meaning of the Public Hospitals Act.

viii. A board of health, as defined in subsection 1 (1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

ix. The Ontario Provincial Police or a municipal police force.

x. A fire department or ambulance service.

xi. Any other person or organization prescribed by regulation.


3. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing persons or organizations for the purposes of subparagraph 4 xi of section 2.


4. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

5. The short title of this Act is the Workers Day of Mourning Act, 2016.